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Less Of A Ghost Than An Abandoned Portrait

To me, building ghosts are the remnants of demolished buildings that remain as marks on their still-standing neighbors. This, on the other hand, is an entire building that is intact and has been reused. It’s on Third Avenue and 105th Street and since it’s probably not clear what I was looking at here’s a blow-up of the parapet with the contrast turned all the way up:

Kress Stores were competitors with Woolworth at the low end of the department store scale. “Five and dime” were the actual costs for most of the merchandise when they started. The chain started in 1896, went national almost immediately, and lasted until 1981. The stores had a fairly high standard of architecture, which has led to a number of its old buildings being saved and reused. This is one of the more boring Kress buildings , with a nice brick and terra cotta facade but otherwise nothing special. However, this building, like many of the loft buildings downtown, has been reused because it was generic space that could be readily adapted for new uses. I’d argue there’s a lesson there.